SHAMANS, AVATARS, AND PAINTED CAVES
Little Bear, a beautiful and gifted cave artist, descends into the depths of the Great Cave, guided by the most powerful shaman of her tribe, the People of the Bear Mother. There, she is to paint a new image portraying her people's most significant myth. But before she may enter the deepest chambers of the awesome cave, she must be initiated as a shaman herself. In spite of her fear of the old shaman, her reluctance to take the shaman's path, and her mother's strong opposition, Little Bear agrees to accept this life-altering invitation to embark on her soul's great hero adventure. How will this journey into the depths of her own psyche transform her life among the People? How will this adventure change all the subsequent lifetimes this soul's avatars will experience? And what is the meaning of Little Bear's mysterious "lion eye"?
To enrich these stories of past lives, which are coming through as a result of a recent creative opening, Austin draws on a lifetime of study of actual archaeological finds, specifically those of the oldest artwork in the world, the paintings of the 35,000-year-old Chauvet Cave in southern France. The meaning of this cave art is revealed through the story of Little Bear, as are universal human truths that have resonance and meaning for all of us today.
Finalist, Fiction: Chick Lit/Women's Lit, International Book Awards, 2011
Finalist, Fiction: Gay/Lesbian Fiction, International Book Awards, 2011
“Joseph Campbell taught us the inner dimensions of the heroic journey which we are all to take. In People of the Bear Mother, Austin tells us a story that reveals the origins and meaning of ancient cave paintings and we learn about the power of initiation through the animal envoys of the unseen powers that still inhabit our universe. This is truly a mythic tale that will remain in the imagination for a lifetime.” (Dr. Jonathan Young, PhD. Founding Curator, Joseph Campbell Archives, Center for Story and Symbol, Santa Barbara)
“The stunning discoveries of Chauvet Cave, upon which Austin’s fictional account is closely based, have revolutionized and up-ended all earlier conceptions of art history and life in the European Upper Paleolithic. Austin gives us a perfectly plausible interpretation of Chauvet’s masterpieces of animal art that are the earliest known examples of the magnificent burst of creativity that began to be expressed in the painted caves of Western Europe some 35,000 years ago.” (Dr. Theodore Telford, PhD. Adjunct Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of California at Riverside)
“This story of a young woman’s adventure of initiation within one of the great painted caves of Stone Age France will resonate with everyone who is faced with the choice of how to live a truly human life under any circumstances. Little Bear’s encounter with her own wise mentors provides some surprisingly universal answers to such questions of human existence as how we are to acknowledge and balance the feminine and masculine energies that are a part of each and every one of us.” (Marsh Engle. Author, Amazing Women Amazing World; CEO, The Envision Network and Amazing Woman’s Day Seminar)
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People of the Bear Mother